Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy weekend of writing and Christmas shopping. We’re all done for this year. (I think 😉)
For some reason this year is less stressful. I’m not sure why. Maybe because my boys want a lot of electronics and that’s not my department, that’s my hubby’s. So, the pressure’s off me this year. I hope your shopping is going well.
Well, enough about shopping, today I want to talk about something that’s been kind of nagging at me. I’ve noticed with the social media craze that’s going on that people are becoming more externally oriented instead of internally oriented.
We’re becoming obsessed with followers, likes, and memes. This is unfortunate because we’re ignoring the internal work that we all need to do as individuals. We need to figure out what sets our souls on fire and pursue that. Social media is a distraction not a way of life.
If we become more internally oriented, we’ll be happier. We’ll stop comparing ourselves to others because we’ll be so busy pursuing what makes us happy we won’t have time for anything else. Being internally oriented makes us more self-aware and self-focused.
This is important for our growth and development because without this awareness we’ll be floating through life reacting to the tides instead of steering our course. As parents, when we’re self-aware, we teach our children to focus on their dreams and goals. We give them permission to pursue them.
So, let’s set that example for our children and start becoming more internally oriented. By focusing on what makes us feel good about ourselves, we don’t have to look outside for validation. This makes us stronger and happier individuals.
Let’s put this social media craze on the back burner and build better relationships with ourselves. By doing this, we’ll be making our relationships with our partners and our children stronger. We’ll have a stronger connection with our family members and that’s where it all starts, isn’t it?
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. What are your thoughts? How do you think we can become more internally oriented? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life post. I have one more week before I have to go back to work, and I’m sad my summer is almost over. It went by way too fast.
I’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s amazing to see these young people achieving their dreams. It inspires me to believe that I can achieve mine if I work hard enough.:)
I’m encouraging my youngest to watch the events as well. I’m hoping they’ll inspire him, too. He’s quite agile. I can see great talent in him. He’s already doing front and back flips on the trampoline. He’s got that gymnast build, too.
He also has the drive. He sticks with something until he masters it. I remember when he was just a wee lad, how he’d get these transformers and work so hard at getting them to transform. Some of them were quite difficult. Tears of frustration would run down his face, but he wouldn’t give up.
I think it’s the same drive many of these athletes have. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be watching my little guy at the Olympics someday.
I have to be careful though. I have to make sure that I’m not pushing my dream for him onto my little guy. I want him to choose his own dream. I don’t want him to look back on his life and have any regrets.
Living without regret is an awesome thing, and I want that for both my boys. I think that old saying is true. “We only regret the things we didn’t do.” These are very wise words. How about you. Are you living without regret? Is there something you wanted to go for, but didn’t? Maybe the timing wasn’t right? Now might be the time to do it! Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!
Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. As I watched the Olympics the other day, I started thinking about all the sacrifices these athletes make to compete in the games, and that started me thinking about opportunity costs and life decisions. What is opportunity cost?
The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.
Opportunity cost is why some people become paralyzed when making a decision. They’ve got so many options available to them they can’t decide which one is the best. So, how do we make these choices and hopefully not regret the choice we’ve made?
Well, first of all, you have to decide how to measure the value of each alternative. This is where it gets sticky. Because how do we measure the value? Is it by how much money we’re going to make with a choice? Is it by how we’ll be remembered by family and friends? Is it by the instant gratification the choice will give us?
The answers to these questions are deeply personal and can only be answered by each individual. There is no blanket answer for any of us, but here’s how I make most of my major decisions and maybe it’ll help you with yours.
I look at how I want to be remembered. Yes. I know it’s kind of morbid, but I think about what people might say at my funeral. Do I want them to talk about how I worked so hard I never saw my family? Or do I want them to say, how I was an inspiration to my kids, and how I helped provide for both their emotional and physical needs? Do I want to be remembered as someone who created a showpiece of a home, or someone who wasn’t too hung up on what people thought if my house was messy?
When I ask myself these questions. It puts things into perspective. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that what other people think is more important that their own opinion, so I have to live that way myself. I want my kids to have good memories of their childhood and not live in an environment where they can’t build forts or make brownies because I’m hung up on what a mess it’ll be. Because of this, I have to deal with people occasionally seeing a messy house.
I can deal with that. The joy on my kids’ faces when they build a huge fort is worth the cost of people thinking I’m a bad housekeeper. I am bad. There’s no mistake about it. I don’t enjoy cleaning. I’d rather be writing. So we’ve got clutter.
But I digress. By looking at how I want to be remembered, I was able to make that decision to stay home with my kids and feel good about it. There are times when I’ve had doubts because staying home meant I’d have to make sacrifices. I’ve sacrificed all the income I would’ve brought into the home if I worked instead. This was a huge opportunity cost of my decision, and made the choice hard because security for me and my family is also important to me.
So loss of income was a huge cost of my decision, but what about the gains? The gains are important because they offset the costs. This is where deciding what we value comes into play. What I’ve gained from staying home is a great relationship with my kids. I don’t know about you, but the value of that is priceless. I can’t put a number on it.
I’ve also got well-adjusted kids (knocks on wood). They don’t have behavioral issues because I was able to focus on teaching them how to handle their emotions like frustration and anger. I get compliments from their teachers all the time. They tell me they wished they had a whole classroom full of my boys. I’ve even gotten these compliments from teachers who haven’t had my kids. They’ve just witnessed my boys being kind and considerate to their classmates. Now, my goal wasn’t to receive pats on the back from my kids’ teachers (although it is a great feeling when they say things like this). It was to raise healthy well-adjusted humans. So, when their teachers make these comments I know I’m on the right track and again that gain is priceless.
Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m talking about literacy in the United States. Did you know one in seven adults would find it difficult to read anything more challenging than a picture book? This is scary.
I find this quite alarming. How can these adults teach their children about the joy of reading, if they can’t read themselves? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Parents who can’t read are limited to what they can teach their children. In my opinion, reading is one of the most important skills we can pass on to our kids.
What’s going to happen to our country if we raise a generation of illiterate adults? What happens when all they can do is read text messages? The ability to read and write correctly is going to be a skill that will be in short supply in the future. In my opinion, there’s going to be a great divide between the kids who can read and write and those who get through life typing and reading short text messages. We as parents need to turn the tide on this problem. But what can we do?
We can make reading a priority. In our house it’s part of homework. My boys read twenty minutes every night. I talk about the books they’re reading and ask them their opinions. My oldest is in the process of reading my second Super Spies book. I know this story by heart and we discuss the actions of the characters. Could they have handled a situation differently? What would you do differently if you were in that situation? These are good talks and I treasure them. I’m hoping by having these discussions, I’m developing critical thinkers, too.
What else can we do? We can improve the selection of books available for our kids to read. The more books they have to choose from, the more likely they’ll find something that interests them. This means supporting the libraries in our schools and our public libraries. It also means having a lot of books in our homes.
I also believe we need to accept what our kids want to read. If they want to read graphic novels, so be it. It’s better than not reading. That goes for comic books, too. If these types of books are what interests your child, show them you support their choices. You’ll be glad you did.
When you think about it, reading helps strengthen the family bond. Imagine as your child grows he develops an affinity for a certain genre of books. Wouldn’t it be awesome to sit with your child and talk about the books he’s read? It would boost his self-esteem if you showed genuine interest in what he’s doing. If you showed you valued his opinion.
A Mom who read my first Super Spies book with her daughter, sent me an e-mail stating that my book opened up a family discussion about what her daughter would do if she were in the same situation as my characters. It was a great bonding moment between them. Isn’t that an awesome feeling? Knowing your book sparked a family bonding moment? It was for me!
Reading is also a great stress reliever. Helping your child develop a love of reading early will help him deal with the pressures of being a teenager. I always lost myself in a book during my teen years and it helped me.
For more information on how reading benefits you and your child, check out this post.
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m participating in “A Slice of Life” today. I’m excited and a little nervous because this is my first time. I hope you find what I want to share interesting. It’s a story about my oldest son.
I had gone out to breakfast and then church with a couple of friends. We were talking about making the New York Times Bestsellers List and what it takes to make it. My friend told me the story about another author who made the list by taking out a loan and buying the required number of copies to do this.
Now, it’s been one of my goals to do make this list. I just think it’d be a great accomplishment and I’m working on improving my writing to get there, but what an easy way to do it. However, would I feel the same sense of accomplishment if I made the list the easy way as opposed to having my book make it all on its own?
So, I was talking with my hubby and my son happened to be in the room listening as I explained the story my friend had told me. Just as I said, “I don’t think I’d feel a sense of accomplishment if I made it that way.”
My oldest wrinkled his nose and responded. “Mom, that’s cheating.”
“You’re right,” I said and he rose from the couch and went in the other room.
I was so proud of him. He knows the difference between accomplishing something on your own and buying it. I don’t know where or when he learned that lesson, but I’m so glad he did. I hope I had a part in teaching him that.
It’s funny, when you’re a parent, you think of yourself as the moral compass in your child’s life, you never think that they’re going to be your moral compass. 🙂 It just goes to show you, you never stop learning and we can learn from everyone can’t we?
Thanks for stopping by and reading my “Slice of Life” post. I’d love it if you’d take a look at the other posts and if you want to leave a short snippet of your own slice of life in the comment section, feel free! I’d love to read it!
Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week, working hard on my next project and spending time with the family. 🙂 We went to the movie Pixels on Friday and the boys loved it. Me, I’m more of a Baymax fan, so if you haven’t seen Big Hero Six yet. It’s a must!
I’ve been working hard with my boys and trying to instill in them a sense of individuality. Whenever I catch them comparing themselves to each other or someone else, I immediately tell them everyone is different. We all learn things at our own pace. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.
I tell them their focus should be on being the best individuals they can be. Instead of competing with each other or their friends, they should compete with themselves and try to be better than they were the day before.
My youngest wants to be a Ninja. He runs around our yard, climbing trees and jumping over rocks. This summer he wanted to go to Ninja Camp. I asked him the night before camp if he was nervous and he admitted he was a little apprehensive. So I told him, “Be the best Ninja you can be. Don’t worry about all the other Ninjas out there. We’re proud of you no matter what.” He smiled and I could see the relief shining in his eyes. Sometimes we parents forget in our efforts to motivate our kids, we inadvertently communicate that we have high expectations. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they’re loved unconditionally.
Turning our focus on our own goals and aspirations is important not only for my boys, but for everyone. In my opinion, it forces us to focus only on ourselves. I don’t mean we need to be selfish. I mean we need to be internally oriented.
I believe all of us need to be internally oriented.It’s less stressful and better for our health. I wonder if we all practiced this, if there would be a decline in stress related illnesses. I’m willing to bet there would be! 🙂
Where did I get this wonderful insight? You guessed it! I read a book. 🙂 The book is titled “Love” by Leo Buscaglia. I read it when I was in college and it really had an effect on me. It’s a great book. Check it out if you’ve lost your way or even if you haven’t. It’s a great read.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Please leave a comment if you have anything you’d like to share!
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! It has been a while since I’ve posted on my blog. Sorry about that, but I’ve been busy with surgery, vacations, and the kidlets! I’ve also had trouble finding a topic. It seems that I’ve written either a guest post or a post for my own blog on just about everything. 🙂 (I know that’s not true, but it feels that way.)
Then it hit me. I could write about what cancer has taught me. I know. Another post about cancer, but it’s a good one. I promise. (Insert sincere smile here.) When I was younger and working in the competitive environment of insurance sales and something or someone would bother me. I used to ask myself this question. “If I found out I had cancer, would this particular incident upset me?” Surprisingly, the answer was always. “No.” In that instance, I would put the episode behind me and focus on what I needed to accomplish for that day. I tried hard not to wallow in negative emotions. Although, sometimes I did. 🙂 I am a work in progress, after all.
It’s quite ironic I was diagnosed twenty years later with cancer. Does that make me psychic? 😉
Anyway, it’s funny what cancer teaches you. That’s right. There’s a positive side to having cancer. It wakes you up. It gives you clarity. For example, I struggled with being a stay at home mom. Working has always given me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. For moms who work hard for those teachable moments with their kids while battling the mountain of laundry that seems to come with them, there’s no crowd cheering you on. There’s no award at the end of the day. There’s no real recognition from your peers, which means the sense of accomplishment gets a bit muddled sometimes. Especially when you’re trying to teach your child patience and they choose to scream their little heads off instead of learning it. 🙂 Cancer has taught me that I don’t need any special recognition from my peers. I just need and appreciate the bond I have with my kids.
Cancer has opened my eyes to the little things in everyday life that I may not have appreciated fully or may have even take for granted. Things I would have missed if I had been working full time. For example, those little conversations I have with my boys at odd hours of the day. Are transformers fiction or non-fiction? Is Texas bigger than Michigan? Is a Tyrannosaurus Rex bigger than our house?
Another example is a hug. Something as simple as a hug can have a huge impact on someone’s day. When I drop my boys off to school, I hug them and tell them I love them. In fact, I do this every time I leave the house and they don’t come with me. I’ve practiced this ever since they were babies. I know this sounds weird or even a little fatalistic, but I always thought, “What if I get in a car accident on the way home?” I want my boys’ last memory of me to be a hug and my last words to be “I love you.” Surviving cancer has taught me that I’m on the right track. Now, I hug more often and tell my boys I’m proud of them and that I’m glad they’re in my life. I believe kids need to hear that sometimes.
I always tried to live my life as if each day was my last, so it would be a worthwhile day. I practiced this as much as I could, but now after cancer I’m even better at it. Now, I don’t oscillate between the two pillars of I should be working and I should be home with the kids. I know where I’m supposed to be.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Please leave a comment or ask a question! I’d love to hear from you!
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I saw this on my Facebook page and had to share it with everyone. I think this is an awesome idea! I found this awesome story on Glennon Doyle Melton’s Blog. To see the original article click the link below.
A few weeks ago, I went into Chase’s class for tutoring.
I’d emailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math – but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She emailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it.Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth grade classroom staring at rows of shapes that Chase’s teacher kept referring to as “numbers.”
I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.” Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.
Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.
And then she told me this.
Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.
And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.
Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?
You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.
As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.
As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.
This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.
And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.
And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.
All is love- even math. Amazing.
Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.
TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar, so when I saw this post on my Facebook page, it inspired this blog post. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger (many moons ago. ;)) if a friend, co-worker, or boss didn’t see my value, I would make it my mission to prove them wrong. I would spend time agonizing over their opinion and become frustrated when they couldn’t see how incorrect they were.
Of course, I’m older and wiser now and I know better, but what would’ve happened if I had figured this out earlier? I probably would have used all that energy to focus on accomplishing something, or maybe just enjoying my life a bit more.
This is an important lesson for our young people to learn early, and that is to be internally oriented and self-focused. Being self-focused is different from being selfish. I think I need to make this distinction. Being self-focused in the context in which I’m writing about anyway, means that a person focuses on his or her own set of internal values and desires. So when they encounter a negative or toxic person that person won’t have a huge impact on them, because they’re busy working on their own goals and aspirations.
As a parent, I worry about this. I don’t want my kids growing up with this kind of insecurity. So how am I going to raise them to be internally oriented? That’s a good question. I thought about it for a while and I’ve decided that this is the best way for me to do it.
The best way to do this is by being an involved parent. I have to remember that my kids are experiencing many things for the first time. What that means is even though I may think what they’re going through isn’t a big deal. It is to them. They don’t have the life experience that I do, and because of that experience, I’m supposed to be a guiding force in their lives. I shouldn’t use that experience to belittle the event they’re dealing with. I should use it to help them through it and give them some guidance on how to deal with it.
Often times, we adults forget this and try to brush off our child’s feelings because we’re trying to put food on the table, are worried about our jobs, or one of the other million things that parents worry about besides our kids.
If we focus on our kids, that also gives them permission to focus on themselves. It teaches them that we value them. This is important because then they learn to value themselves and they won’t fall prey to the toxic people that they’ll inevitably encounter in their lives.
Thanks for reading my post today. I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts, so leave a comment!
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Linda Weaver here today and she’s telling us a little bit about herself and her book!
Here’s a little bit about Linda!
Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries, encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. Clarke is the author of several historical “sweet” romances and a mystery/adventure series that has a touch of romance.
Now for the interview!
When did you first learn that you wanted to be a writer?
It all started when I began writing my own ancestor’s stories. I fly all over the U.S., teaching people how to write their family history or their own autobiography. I believe it’s very important to teach our children their heritage. We are the people we are because of our ancestors. It’s up to us to write these experiences down. Our children need to be proud of their ancestors. After writing my own ancestors’ stories, I couldn’t stop writing, so I turned to historical “sweet” romance and then to mystery/adventure novels. To learn more about what I teach and read sample stories of my ancestors, you can visit my website at www.lindaweaverclarke.com.
Tell us a little about your writing process.
I usually have an outline. That helps me a great deal so I can feel organized. Many times I’ll use most of the things on my list for my story, but not everything. As I get to know my characters and understand how they really feel, then I know if something I’ve put in my outline will work or not. The secret is getting to know your characters inside and out.
Are you working on anything right now, and if you are tell us a little bit about it.
I usually write “sweet” romances or mysteries, but I decided to do something different this time. I have just completed my first children’s book. It’s called Bedtime Stories: In each of these stories, a mother helps her little girl understand her fears at night.
Shadows In My Room: Kayla sees shadows in her room that disturb her. Her mother answers all her questions about each shadow that she points to, and helps her to calm down and go to sleep.
What’s That Noise: Amber hears noises that disturb her such as the wind and thunder. Her mother teaches Amber to use her imagination by turning something fearful into something fun.
If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with the four men who wrote the Gospels in the Bible. That would be so awesome to ask them about the things they wrote and what it was like to know the Savior. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote an account that really touches my heart. I would love to meet them and have dinner with them and ask many questions.
Tell us something unusual about yourself that no one else knows.
Well, I’m just too open to have any secrets, but I can tell you something that most people don’t know about me. I have six daughters and no sons. Even though my husband was overrun with females, he’s now got 3 son-in-laws and 3 grandsons to help the balance. (I also have 2 granddaughters.) Last, but not least, I decided to go back to college while in my fifties and I graduated in 2002. It was a wonderful experience. I feel it is quite an accomplishment in my later years.
Thanks for sharing with us Linda! It’s always fun to get to know another author. And below is Linda’s children’s book! It certainly sounds like a great book for kids who have bedtime fears! Check it out!
Two Bedtime Stories: In each of these stories, a mother helps her little girl understand her fears at night. Shadows In My Room: Kayla sees shadows in her room that disturb her. Her mother answers all her questions about each shadow that she points to, and helps her to calm down and go to sleep. What’s That Noise: Amber hears noises that disturb her such as the wind and thunder. Her mother teaches Amber to use her imagination by turning something fearful into something fun.
Thanks for stopping by today and if you have a question or comment for Linda, please leave a comment! 🙂